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BJP’s politics of hatred rears its head again: Dalit student murdered

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Dilip Saroj, 24, was a Dalit second year law student at the Allahabad Degree College in Uttar Pradesh. He was killed after being beaten with sticks, iron rods and bricks on February 10, 2018. According to Times of India, Dilip and his three friends went to have dinner at a restaurant named Kalika in Katra where they had an argument with a group that became violent afterwards.

After this brutal killing, student activists from Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha (SYS) and All India Students Association (AISA)  protested by staging a dharna in front of police headquarters. The opposition parties protested against BJP’s politics against the Dalits. They continue to criticize BJP on many instances similar to this.

These realities demonstrate that India’s secularism only exists in name and that it is slowly transforming into a fundamentalist state. Dilip’s killing is just the latest instance of BJP’s hate politics on the basis of their extremist Hindutva ideology.

Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati severely criticized the current government for the increasing violence against Dalits. He said, “The barbaric murder of a Dalit student in Allahabad is not an isolated case as such incidents are occurring on a regular basis. And no one else but the BJP’s narrow, casteist politics of hatred is responsible for it.”

Read more: Indian caste war continues as Dalits are illegally detained

He further said that these kinds of incidents have destroyed the country’s atmosphere where the youth is already facing job scarcity for educated people. Former Samajwadi Party Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadev added that the situation of law and order had collapsed in the state. He said, “The murder of a Dalit student in Allahabad shows that the state is in the grip of criminal elements and the police are only killing innocents in encounters”. Moreover, he demanded a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh for Dilip’s family.

Uttar Pradesh’s Legislative Council also witnessed chaotic scenes after the killing of Dilip. During 10 months of BJP rule in Uttar Pradesh, a sense of insecurity crept into the minds of people and no section of the society, especially minority groups, was feeling safe.

The current government has nothing to say about the daily violence against lower-caste Hindus so how can one expect that it would bother for the hatred being spread against Indian Muslims.

There were other cases such as the twin murder of a mother and son in Meerut, the brutal assault on a milkman in Bulandshahr, the fake encounter by police in Noida, the triple murders in Bareilly and the murder of a trader in Allahabad had witnessed that all peace talks were in vain. Additionally he raised the question that with the soaring crime rate, who will invest in Uttar Pradesh as the UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, continues inviting people to invest in his province.

Read more: Hindutva media paints Dalits as “Pakistanis” as Caste violence increases

Prior to the Dilip incident, Dalits have long protested against their low-caste status in the Hindu social hierarchy. There are more than 200 million Dalits living in India, which is nearly a fifth of the population. They have every right to be angry. It seems to indicate that the Indian establishment does not pay attention to address the Dalits’ concerns seriously.

Even the police administration is not providing them with adequate protection. Journalists in the national media, which is dominated by upper-caste Hindus, habitually accuses Dalits for “poisoning” the country for demanding change. Dalits are usually only supposed to do the most menial jobs in society such as cleaning etc. These sorts of attitudes prevail throughout the country.  

The bitter reality is that India’s leaders’ vision for greater India is just confined to the upper caste Hindu Elite leaving behind their own low caste of people and religious minorities.

Prehistorically and even during the British rule in the Indian Subcontinent, occupations were assigned to people according to their caste. The Brahmins are the highest cast and do jobs related to preaching while Shudras are the second lowest cast in India after Dalits and are assigned some of the worst jobs.

Read more: Hindu organizations booked for anti-Dalit violence

The bitter reality is that India’s leaders’ vision for greater India is just confined to the upper caste Hindu Elite leaving behind their own low caste of people and religious minorities. Moreover, the Dalits are being accused of being anti-Hindu whenever they demand equal rights. Indian Muslims are also being targeted by the BJP’s hate filled agenda and are living in very miserable conditions.

The current government has nothing to say about the daily violence against lower-caste Hindus so how can one expect that it would bother for the hatred being spread against Indian Muslims. These realities demonstrate that India’s secularism only exists in name and that it is slowly transforming into a fundamentalist state. Dilip’s killing is just the latest instance of BJP’s hate politics on the basis of their extremist Hindutva ideology.